For all 4 pregnancies I have tested positive for Group B Strep. I went to the Center for Disease Control (which, thanks to The Walking Dead, will forever make me think of zombies!) and got a few GBS facts.
- In the U.S., group B strep is the leading cause of meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain) and sepsis (infection of the blood) in a newborn’s first week of life (early-onset disease).
- A pregnant woman who tests positive for group B strep and gets antibiotics during labor has only a 1 in 4,000 chance of delivering a baby with group B strep disease, compared to a 1 in 200 chance if she does not get antibiotics during labor.
- Most early-onset group B strep disease in newborns can be prevented by giving pregnant women antibiotics (medicine) through the vein (IV) during labor.
- Newborns are at increased risk for a group B strep infection if their mother tests positive for group B strep during pregnancy.
- The antibiotics used to prevent early-onset group B strep disease in newborns only help during labor — they can’t be taken before labor, because the bacteria can grow back quickly.